I’ve had the Traeger for two years and have had a great time with hams, ribs, chickens, etc. My Grandson also appreciates the Traeger because he ended up with my fairly new stainless steel Charmglow gas grill. There’s tons of great recipes out there that you will enjoy from various manufacturers and venders including Kevin Sandridge, himself!.
One Touch Non PID controllers are a lot more accurate than the previous two controllers. However, keep in mind they too deliver pellets on a fixed cycle. Because of this accuracy is limited to +/-15–20°F.
We started with the electric smokers. We heard that these were the easiest to use. Diving right in we were determined to find out everything there was to know about these simple to use grills. Now you can too.
This isn’t a cheap smoker, and if you’re looking to entertain the entire neighborhood, this smoker just isn’t for you. No matter how great the design, portability, and materials are, a smoker that can’t hold your food can’t cook it. That said, if you want something to travel with, and you have modest ambitions, this could be your perfect smoker. Durability matters, and the fact that the entire smoker is impervious to rust is invaluable.
this grill is awesome, was very easy to assemble, controlling of heat is very uniform though out the grill, its nice to have the bigger pellet hopper so you don’t have to babysit it. shipping with amazon is superb.
Here are a few things that you should keep in mind when getting started with your smoker; these tips and tricks will help you turn out delicious meat and vegetables that are sure to please your family or guests:
Masterbuilt is a well-known brand for smokers. They’ve been producing quality products since 1973, and the 7-in-1 model continues the excellent tradition. The unit is really a all in one grilling/smoking man’s paradise. There’s a truckload of cooking space, which you don’t often find in a vertical smoker (let’s just say that a hame and a turkey at one time is feasible). The grilling racks are porcelain coated, meaning that they can withstand extremely high heats (the sorts of temperatures you need to sear burgers or steaks) while at the same time remaining non-stick and intact to slow roast cut potatoes or corn on the cob.
This controller also gives the cook control over slow cooking over low heat as well as fast grilling over high heat and provides appetizingly reliable outcomes each time. The Texas Elite 34 utilizes wider legs to provide steadiness. It unites strong, wood-fired convection implementation with easy functionalty. This grill also comes with porcelain grill grates which are easy to clean and also has an electronic auto-start ignition.
Some cheaper models, such as the Brinkmann, have a controller with only three settings, Low, Medium, High (LMH), and there is no temperature probe in the oven to create a feedback loop. We do not recommend these units. You actually have less control over temp than you do on a gas or charcoal smoker. The whole reason to buy a pellet grill is because it is set-it-forget-it and it hits a temp and holds it regardless of the ambient air temp outside, winter or summer. On these LMH controllers, the temp fluctuates widely and it cannot correct itself for the weather. They just aren’t as smart as a digital device. Whether you’re smoking a few slabs of ribs on a scorching summer day, or six pork butts during a blizzard, the three position controller only knows auger on and off times for Low, Medium, and High. It has no information on the temperature inside the cook chamber.
Offset smokers just look cool, but the fact is the cheap ones in the big box stores are junk. They make it almost impossible to manage temperatures and then they turn into rust buckets after one season. If you’re Jonesing for the pro look, if you want to burn logs as well as charcoal, this is what you have to spend to get quality. The Horizon is built to cook well and to last. Made of 1/4″ thick steel, when it heats up the mass retains heat and holds temp. You still have to practice to get control over the vents to control heat and it’s a good idea to sit nearby to watch it, but that’s why lounge chairs and beer were invented. If you get one, make sure it has the optional convection plate. It helps distribute the heat more evenly. And the capacious cooking chamber can be loaded with charcoal if the entire Little League is coming over and you need to grill up 43 burgers at once. Click here to read our complete review of the Horizon 20″ RD Special Marshal.
If you have an older smoker and need a lot of physical maintenance like changing the hopper and the digital control, then changing those two parts may not help. These two changes may cost you $200 – $250 and with a rusty hopper, you will continuously lose the smoke you produce. This is not safe for your health, so in this situation, you should definitely opt to get a new pellet smoker grill.
The KBQ C-60 in one word? Brilliant! To get more detailed, the technology behind this smoker is so innovative it will take your barbecue to another level. This is not a set it and forget it machine. By all means, you’ll still have to tend to your fire on this all natural wood smoker, but that’s part of the fun for some us, isn’t it?
In our experience, it doesn’t matter what brand of pellets you use, so long as they are quality pellets. Our Pellet-Q450 runs equally well on pellets made by BBQr’s Delight or Traeger or Louisiana Grills. Like most pellet grills, though, it can experience problems when fueled with low-quality cut-rate pellets that produce excessive ash.
The ONLY barbeque wood pellet that’s 100% flavor-wood! These food-grade wood pellets are the fastest and easiest way to give your food smoke flavor on any gas, charcoal or electric outdoor cooker. No Soaking!
On the better models, a temperature probe in the oven area tells the controller what the temperature is and if it is below the target it tells the controller to feed more pellets and air. The best manufacturers, like MAK and Memphis, have designed their own versatile custom controllers that are easy to use and can hold a temperature within 5°F, tighter than many indoor ovens.
WiFi capability – It shouldn’t be surprising that as our lives become ever more connected, so are our grills. Because they already have an electronic control board, pellet grills are a natural fit for WiFi. With a connected pellet grill, you can remotely monitor and control your cooking and meat temperatures from a phone, tablet, or computer…no matter where you are. It’s the ultimate set-it and forget-it feature. Currently, there are a few pellet grills with WiFi capability, but many more are on the way. Every Memphis Grills model, as well as the Traeger Timberline, have cloud-based WiFi that’s easy to connect, reliable, and offer a host of features on free downloadable app.
My girlfriend told me her dad had just purchased a gas smoker and he loves it. I followed the smell of smoke to the grill master himself. Her dad was checking on the meat and this was my chance to ask him about his new smoker grill.
Sharp-eyed readers may note that there are no electric smokers on the list. We know owners of electrics are rabid in their devotion, that electrics are easy to use, and that the food they make is very good, but they get their heat from glowing metal elements and we think the flavor is less exciting than devices that get heat from combustion of charcoal, wood, or gas.
Add-ons: Manufacturers often offer a variety of add-ons. Check what features come standard, and what are add-ons at extra cost. Some add-ons are offered by companies independent of the manufacturer. If a feature is important to you, but is not a standard feature of your particular cooker, make sure it is available as an add-on before you buy the cooker.
Solid construction that’s built to last is what the Rec Tec is all about, from their proprietary PID temperature control algorithm and Smart Grill Technology to the grill’s powder coated high strength carbon steel and 304 stainless steel for all of its critical parts.
So long as you have good wood, a solid grasp of spices, and plenty of patience, you can get wonderful flavors from an electric smoker. You could plausibly get a more genuine wood-flavor, actually. It may take some experimentation to master your own recipes, but your family and friends are unlikely to complain if you invite them over to a few extra meals.
Not something we often mention, but we feel is relevant is Rec Tec’s customer service. Their service is exceptional, and not only in the grilling industry. When you call their office you speak to a staff member that owns a Rec Tec.
Some grills simply can’t be left outside. Due to their materials, they will rust after exposure to precipitation, harsh temperatures, or even humidity. Regular oiling can prevent a lot of that, but that’s another maintenance step that counts against the smoker overall. What’s more, if a BBQ smoker is not designed to be easily wheeled into a garage or shed, but it rusts easily, it loses both maintenance and ease of use consideration.
As such, if you don’t see one of your favorites listed here and would like to offer up a review – please contact me via any of the social media links at the top of this blog’s sidebar, and we’ll see about getting a post up.
As the worldwide glorification of BBQ intensifies, people around the globe want more BBQ morning, noon and night, with the ability to enjoy any recipe cooked outdoors anywhere. Supply rises to meet demand with an overwhelming variety of grills and smokers offered at prices ranging from economical to extravagant. If spring finds you considering replacement of a decrepit grill that didn’t make it through the winter, or adding that coveted smoker you dreamed of for so long, the selection process can be daunting. To get you started on the right foot, we have selected the Best Value Grills & Smokers of 2017 from our searchable database of ratings and reviews of over 500 cookers from 185 manufacturers.
On top of that, the construction is designed in a way that makes all the fat and grease drip to the bucket on the side. That way you can quickly and easily replace the bucket with a new one or quickly clean the old bucket.
Cutting edge temperature Control – It achieves high temperature, looks after it, and the smoke achieves each side of the cooking zone. There are littler temperature increases so you can even heat on this thing.
Something you may not have read in other Pellet grill reviews is that there are two key concerns: flavor and fuel consumption. As previously stated, pellet smokers are not known for producing a strong smoke flavor, no matter what pellets you use. Though, some brands can be more pronounced than others. Hardwood pellets provide longer overall burn times per pound than fruit wood pellets. 1oo percent fruit wood pellets will also be more expensive on average.
Whenever pellet grill owners complain about temperature swings or losing their fire mid-cook, the first question we ask is “What pellets are you using?” Many times it’s a cheap, low-quality brand that produces excessive ash, which can interfere with the sensors that help regulate cooking temperatures. In that case, fix is simple: use better pellets that burn cleanly and regularly clean any residual ash from the grill. Often that’s all it takes, and the next time we hear from the customer it’s to order more pellets.
Multi-position controllers: These controllers allow you to adjust the temperature in smaller increments. Pellets are fed in fixed cycles meaning these controllers still don’t offer amazing accuracy. A multi-position controller is typically accurate +/-20°F, in ideal conditions. A nice feature of these controllers is the addition of an LCD screen.
Several smokers will need replacement parts sooner rather than later. For this reason, we’ve added customer service and warranty use into this category’s consideration. If manufacturers are aware of a problem, then it should be an easy fix, and the vast majority of smokers on our list are backed by customer support that has a handle on the situation. Warranties are like life insurance for smokers, and the length of coverage reflects how long a manufacturer expects a product to work without problems. Therefore, the longer the warranty, the better the BBQ smoker’s quality.
Brought it home and set it on my prep table with the controller in a cubby hole with all intentions of building a cart for it later. So I have made a killer rib eye on it and tried to burn it down with a couple rib eyes cooking at 600 F. Gotta figure out a little better method of catching drippings as they will catch on fire and you have a runaway! But you can make a great rib eye. Ribs, every set has turned out awesome, everything from low and slow to a high temp cook process on them. Probably made 8 racks of great ribs. Wasn’t impressed with the hamburgers on it but will try again later. Made a pretty good brisket but used Rudy’s rub as I like their store sandwiches and I don’t have the method down. Next one will be back to salt and a touch of pepper. Chicken thighs (thighs are the perfect chicken part for Q, their rather uniform thickness makes getting them all consistent and cooked even a slam dunk) with a light coat of mustard and Tony Chachere’s lightly sprinkled is to die for. Simply squeeze them when they should be close and if the juice is clear, no pink or red they are perfect. If you cook the juice out, well they make decent tasting blotter paper 🙁 Pretty much killed a spatchcocked turkey for Thanksgiving, good thing the wife made an over baked one too. It did make great gumbo though as does the blotter paper chicken if you ruin any thighs or the whatever chicken. Also have a pile of hot links I put on at 180 for 2 to 3 hours. They are great for reheat with sauerkraut and roasted pabs or in the gumbo. Hot links should be a staple, ha ha! Gotta try my great pulled pork on it and we do Prudhomme pizza sauce on a Brown Eyed Baker crust and this Pro should rock it!
Have you reviewed at all the Grilla Silverbac? If so, does it not make your list because it isn’t as good a quality as those you have picked? I mean, when I look online for reviews of those who have bought them I haven’t found anyone disappointed with theirs, but perhaps they haven’t been out as long to have a track record? I’m so confused at this point as to which to buy with PID or no PID (some say smoke does better without one), thickness of metal, etc.
The pellet smoker grill is the king smoker grill, because it combines the pros of all the other grills. I know once you read all the good things there is to know about this type of smoker you will agree.
REC-TEC: REC-TEC, also known as Rec Tec, has been in business for more than 7 years. Its pellet grill offers up to 702 square inches of cooking surface real estate, beating out the Pit Boss and its 700 square inches by (only) about 2 inches of extra space. Its grills can also calibrate themselves in 5° increments and its pellet hopper is capable of holding 40 pounds of pellets (no constant refills required).
The seventh pellet grill to achieve its place in our pellet grill review is the YOYO wood pellet grill and smoker. It is a 679 square inch griller (1 cooking surface) with 2 level cooking levels surface. This pellet grill weighs 170 pounds. It maintains temperature from 180 degrees to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Another feature of this pellet grill is that, it has a digital thermostat controller and comes with the assembly tool kit included.
Hey Kev, I was wondering about that cooking surface and its capacity. Have you found the 16×20 to be sufficient for a brisket and/or other large chunks of meat? This is my biggest concern as we love to cook a good amount of meat at one time.
The Pit Boss grills work fine. Their controllers get a little wonky every now and then but that is the exception, not the rule. What concerns me about the brand is that these smokers only come with a one year warranty. The owner’s manual for these products actually says that you should not expect them to last more than 2-3 grilling seasons.
Next in our pellet grill review is the Green Mountain Davy Crockett pellet grill. Its small size makes it a portable grill. It weighs 57 pounds and measures 14.5 by 20 by 29.5 inches in dimensions. The Green Mountain pellet grill has 110V or 12V adaptors for 3 power options. It has foldable legs that also function as handles. This pellet grill also features a thermal sensor which monitors the grill temperature called Sense-Mate. One coveted feature on this pellet grill is that is Wi-Fi compatible.
A pouch made of heavy duty aluminum with just one tiny hole in one side works great to provide smoke in most outdoor cookers. To make a foil pouch, cut a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil 6″ by 12″ and fold in half making a 6″x6″ square. Fold the side edges at least twice, pressing each fold firmly along the entire side. Put 1/3 of a cup of pellets in the pouch and fold the top to seal. Poke a hole in one side of the pouch with a toothpick. Place the pouch on top of your charcoal briquettes or above the gas flame. When the smoke starts coming out of the hole in the pouch, put your food on the cooking grate and close the cover of your cooker. Smoke should last up to 30 minutes depending on the temperature of your cooker.
Another video I thought it’d be cool to show you guys is one that features BBQ Diva as she shares her thoughts about how Fast Eddy’s Pellet smokers work with BBQ Ribs. You’ve likely read the Diva Q DIY BBQ Sauce post we highlighted here. And no doubt you know about Danielle’s work with the now famous BBQ Crawl television series. Without question, she’s one of BBQ’s greatest treasures. Check out what she says here about Fast Eddy’s. The video starts out with Ed Maurin showing you the recipe he used for the World BBQ Championship Perfect Score Ribs in 2000 – using both baby backs and spares. Diva chimes in near the end with her take on how these ribs taste.